Five Poems

The absolute cold touches the room’s skin. The absolute cold covets the room’s inside. The room endures. I struggle together with the meaning of my reading.
Yi Sang is the pen name of Kim Hye-kyung (1910–1937), who was originally an architect before he became one of the most controversial figures in Korean literary history. His dark, sensual poems were some of the first Dadaist and Surrealist writing in Korean literature. After being diagnosed with tuberculosis at age twenty-two, he quit his job as an architect to write full time and became friends with notable Korean writers of his day, eventually joining a modernist literary group who called themselves The Nine. In 1937, during his stay in Tokyo, he was arrest-ed by Japanese police for reasons unknown. His disease worsened in the jail cell, and af-ter he was released, he died within a month.